How to Change the Default Shutdown Options in Alt+F4 Dialog Box

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The Shut Down Windows dialog is the one you see when you press Alt+F4 without an open window being selected.

If you press Alt+F4 while a window is selected (active), that window is closed.

In the Close Window dialog box, you can select what you want the computer to do from the following actions.

  • Switch users
  • Logout
  • Sleep
  • hibernate
  • close
  • restart

Stop is the default action selected in the Stop Window dialog box, but you can change the default action if you wish.

This tutorial shows you how to change the default action in the Alt+F4 Close Window dialog box for your account, specific users, or all users of Windows 10.

Using Windows Registry to Change Default Action of Shut Down Windows Dialog in Windows 10

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  • Press the Win + R keys and the Execute dialog box appears. Type regedit and press enter.regedit_run
    Navigate to the register:
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
  • Right-click on the extended registry tree and click New. Now select the DWORD value (32-bit).
  • Name it Start_PowerButtonAction. It controls the default action in the Stop dialog.
  • Double-click the newly created dword.
  • Now enter the value 2 so that “Close” is the default action. Select Base as decimal point.

You can use any other standard option:

  • 4 to make “Restart” the default action
  • 256 for Switch to use the default action
  • 1 to execute the standard action Log off
  • 16 to make sleep the default action
  • 64 to make Hibernate the default action.

Note: You can make Sleep Mode and Hibernate available in the Control Panel.

Remember that you can run this method as administrator for each user on the system. To make them available to only one user, you must log on as a user and use the above method.

Use Local Group Policy Editor for Windows Pro Versions

An alternative solution for Windows Pro and higher (not Home) versions is:

  • Start the local group policy editor (gpedit.msc)
  • Expand User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar
  • Double-click the Change Start Menu button to change the policy
  • Set the policy to “On” and then set the action to “Off”.
  • Click OK and restart.

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